Saturday, October 26, 2013

Countdown to Halloween Party - October 1st

I’m a bit late blogging this Countdown to Halloween Party but, I didn’t want to miss showing what a fun time we had with a simple Beginning to the Festive Halloween Season. What an absolute joy!
Hot Chocolate Floating with Ghost Peeps
Party Favors:
Wood Slices painted with Chalkboard to Keep Track of the Countdown to Halloween.
Chocolate Chips, Marshmallows and Miniature Marshmallows were offered as mix-ins to make your hot chocolate to taste! Some of the kids Hot Chocolate was VERY chocolaty!
It looks like I planned to have the kids all wearing witch and wizard hats but, it was a happy chance. I just hadn’t finished decorating (the witch hats go in a grid pattern on the wall. See HERE)
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4388
So, It’s official we are starting our Countdown to Halloween!
And there’s only FIVE days left!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bat Mobile

This was the final piece to my Halloween Decorating. Literally, the morning before the Book Club Party, I was hanging my Bat Mobile.
Most Mobiles that I found to make online were made of Sewing Loops and had 3 varying layers from big to small. I wanted it to spiral down like the bats were circling. So I set out to the hardware store. The men must have been bored that morning because one, two then eventually three of them together were listening to my idea of this spiral shape and tried to help me find something that would work. We walked around and found a few ideas that were marginal but, then the plumbing expert had an “Ahah” moment and picked up a coiling of refrigeration copper tubing. It came in the spiral shape, could be made into any shape (pliable enough), would hold its shape once shaped and could collapse back down for easy storage.
So I bought a pre-boxed $8 coil of copper refrigeration tubing, shaped it into my spiral shape, painted it black. Thanks Plumbing guy, you took my idea and made it functional!
I planned on cutting out bat shapes for my mobile but, I was at Michael’s picking up the chocolate molds for the Book Club Party and all Halloween was at a huge discount. I already knew I was making a bat mobile so when I found two packs of 12 pre-punched bats for a dollar or two a piece, I bought them! Thanks Martha Stewart Halloween, that saved me some paper cutting time for sure!
Right before my husband was leaving to clinical rotation, I asked him to help me hang my bat mobile. I was a little scared of the height. He said he could help me for 5 minutes but, he really only had 5 minutes to help so if it didn’t work like I planned, he was still going to have to leave. (fingers crossed this worked).
He was able to wire it from the anchor screws on the light fixture (PHEW….my idea worked) and I stood back and instantly LOVED IT!!
I love my bat mobile! It’s so 3-dimensional and looks better in person.
Every angle looks different as if the bats really are circling the moon. Happy Bat Mobile Making!

Witch Class Is In Session

Every Halloween Season, I add at least ONE Halloween thing that I absolutely love! I love Halloween items that I can see long term. This year it was a wonderful vintage print of Halloween Witches. The print looks from the 1900’s of a school class that is dressed up as witches. You can see their hats are made of paper cones and it is absolutely awesome!!
I found this print online from a poster shop. Yes! You can have one too and you can also have it printed in different sizes. So you can find one that works for you. If you want an amazing Witch’s Class Photo. You can find it here. (They have added Happy Halloween to this print)
The other addition to my Halloween Décor are these Victorian boots that are the perfect set of witch boots that I picked up at Sparks Flea Market this Summer (Yep, always on the look out for amazing Halloween items, I also picked up my typewriter at this same flea market)! The patina on the leather is amazing! There is newspaper stuffed in the top of the boots. I had to investigate, The lady I bought them from had never looked and curiosity got the best of me and the newspaper is over 40 years old! They are the perfect display piece for Halloween!
Next to all this witchy goodness is my spell book, an apothecary jar of frogs and a poison bottle. Perfect for a witch’s Lair (or tv watching, couch area LOL)
The wall above the Witch’s Lair is the perfect place to display her collection of witch’s hats! The antique frames (were empty next to the witch’s class picture) and needed something to add to the witch’s lair. So I designed engineering prints to pop inside these frames for the season. I plan on printing my family pictures and displaying them in these frames (after Halloween) but, for now… engineering prints for just over $3 for both prints, fit the bill.
The frames are repainted antique frames. The purple witch silhouette I did a few years ago.
The old frames (the black one from Sparks Flea Market) were needing something (they were beautiful empty frames hanging on the wall) so I designed a simple print to be printed as an engineering print at OfficeMax and then added some chalk leaf detailing.
Engineering Prints are available at copy stores and you pay 68 cents (don’t quote me on this, but I’m close) per square foot. These two cost me just over $3. I used foam board from the dollar store to mount my prints on because my frames had no glass or backing to mount the prints to (the paper is thin). They turned out awesome and were the perfect way to fill my antique frames!
“Curious things” print, I designed for me to chalk a bubbling cauldron but, I liked it as it was, so I left it. Perfectly Imperfect to the left (space for the cauldron on the right) in it’s Halloween saying! I love it!
Witch Class is in Session!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Book Club Halloween Party

I hosted book club this month and what a perfect month for me to host……for I like Halloween (just a little!) LOL As I mentioned before the book we read was, STIFF: the curious lives of human cadavers by Mary Roach. It was a fascinating and little bit gross book. I learned a lot about how cadavers enhance science and all the things they are used for, to better us all. So, the theme of the food table definitely had a bone and science theme.
One of the chapters is about the forensic body farm in Tennessee. I wanted to mimic a cake without being gross… I made it chocolate! I made white chocolate skeletons from a chocolate mold bought at Michaels for $1.99. I made a yummy chocolate cake poked holes, poured sweetened condensed milk while still warm. Cooled the cake and added cool whip, crushed Oreo’s and the cute white chocolate skeletons. The cake was a big hit!
I tried to snap a few photos before everyone showed up (before I even had my chocolate body farm cake in the front middle! LOL (just imagine it in the center…people started showing up and I set down my camera, thus no complete pics) The swamp water is bubbling nicely, though!
Ahah! I do have one pic, just not from the front. The food was super yummy!! Two of my friends helped me out and brought Bruschetta and Asparagus rolls! They were the salty to the sweet! Behind the bubbling swamp water you can see I suspended some x-rays. (You might recognize these stands from the dress clothesline, seen here although they have been painted black to match today’s theme) On top of the scale I made chocolate brains (chocolate molds made for covering Oreos, again the mold was $1.99 from Michaels)
Cassys phone 10-21-13 4536
The party favors were my favorite! I’ve had this skeleton/pretzel mold and have used it before but, it went so perfectly for this theme!! I added hand stamped tags that read, “Partially decomposed finger…..lightly salted, COLD PRESSED” It was awesome!! It went perfectly with the theme of the book!!
The other party favor had a hand-stamped tag that read, “bat droppings”. I took regular clear party bags, cut them in half (wouldn’t have to fill them as much) and filled them with whoppers! They were a hit and everyone wanted bat droppings and a chocolate pretzel finger! It was the perfect party favor!
So if you ever read this interesting book, you now have ideas how to make it cute and not so gross!
Happy Halloween and Happy Reading!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nevermore Ladder with Ravens

Before I read the Book Club Book, (STIFF: the curious lives of human cadavers by Mary Roach) I was adding some Halloween Literature Vignette’s. What is more Halloween Literature theme but…Nevermore….with black ravens!! I used to have these ladders suspended in my Utah home…
and would decorate them seasonally but, didn’t have a place to hang them here in Kansas (ceilings are different) but, I finally found a use for these beautiful vintage ladders…
My front porch!!! I added dollar store black birds (wired on with small gauge silver wire) and a “Nevermore” banner which I created. I printed it out and then antiqued it with distress ink. Here is your free printable!!
I printed the banner at OfficeMax as an engineering print. ( If I remember right, it’s 68 cents??? a square ft or close to that, So this print was 1 ft by 2 ft, do the math…it’s around $1.50 which is AWESOME!) I took it home, distressed it with my scrapbook Distress Inks and then took it back to get it laminated so it could stand-up to some rain. (laminated it was under $2 as well)
To attach the “nevermore” banner to the ladder, I needed nails or push pins. I used what I had and dipped sewing straight pins in black craft paint, let them dry. I used my wire cutters to shorten the straight pins by cutting them in half. I then lightly hammered them into place so it would hold the laminated sign. The sewing pins worked great!
Love Halloween!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween 2013

Halloween is my favorite time. It’s a time of mystery where imperfection is warranted. I haven’t blogged for a while and what a perfect time to jump back…for my favorite season…Halloween.
This Halloween, I hosted our Book Club. I added some fun Halloween Décor this year that added a ton of wow factor  without the price. So, I had to get creative…… I added a Bat Mobile (tutorials coming soon), chalked new chalkboards , made my own chandelier, and handmade some awesome glitter letters. This has been the most creative things I have done in months (been busy, as you could tell by the lack of blog posts).
This is my Halloween tree with treat boxes, set by my spray painted purple chair. It took me two days to figure out what to do with my stacked trunk end table. Something just wasn’t right…
…until I was in the basement doing laundry and this mirror I had picked up at a yard sale for $3 last year was sitting there and it was a lightbulb moment. I could lay the mirror on top of the stacked trunks and have something fun on it. I added a scrabble game (minus the board) and the kids leave me messages (too cute!). My 2 year old will take all of the tiles, put them in the trick-or-treat bucket carry them around with her dollies and then she puts them back (thank goodness she doesn’t spread them around).
I added a grid of witch hats to the tall half wall (with 3M strips) and tried to use my Halloween décor that had any color except orange. I was tired of orange this year and only put out my other Halloween colors. I added a Chandelier to the Entryway to create a dramatic effect entering the house.
Before I had read the book for book club, I was planning on going with a Halloween Literature Vignette. I had expounded on this theme with chalkboards, literature references (AKA Carpe Diem with Skeletons. LOL I think that is so funny) and a old black upright typewriter (which I found at Sparks Flea Market for $25, that was top on my list of things to find…a black upright typewriter!) After reading the book (STIFF: the curious lives of human cadavers by Mary Roach) I knew I had to add more bones, and Science Stuff. The night before the Party, I added my X-ray’s to the storm door. They look amazing at night from the outside and they are so fun INSIDE during the day. It all depends on what way the light is shining. I will do a tutorial soon on my made-up chandelier out of an old light fixture and a candle holder. You have to get creative to achieve the look you want, without a lot of $.
I added my looking glass, a black hat atop a white pumpkin, and a few bones and moss under glass to add fun to the blanket chest/ coffee table.
I am in love with German Glass Glitter and I made my own font to make some awesome MAGIC  glitter letters and BOO letters for my dining room mantle (which served as the backdrop for the food table! Pics to come soon). I can’t wait until these tarnish and keep looking better each year as they age.
The mantle is filled with books (remember I started with a Literary Halloween theme and morphed into a more Science Theme)
This tea-dyed owl print looks out protectively over his books.
These Witch Boots (Victorian shoes) I found at Sparks Flea Market. I fell in love with them and think all the age and patina just adds to the witch boot affect!! I love great finds like this at Flea Markets!
My typewriter was my other great find at the Flea Market. I knew I wanted to have some Literary Phrase coming out of the typewriter but, I happen to set this sign on the typewriter as I was decorating and it was perfect and stayed.
The owl was the smaller print of my poster print (The little prints were $2 and the poster was $6…..that’s my kind of shopping. I had purchased the skeleton poster print last year from the same booth. I love tea dyed vintage looking posters for Halloween!!)
My Flea Market find Typewriter set the Literary Halloween Theme Perfectly (and still worked when I added in the Science). This vignette on my blue sideboard is one of my favorites! It is so fun!
Book Club Party was a success and the last picture I snapped before the party started was of the bat mobile with the light. It looked liked the bats were circling the moon. Oh so Halloween!!


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